American rules and chinese faces: The games of amy tan's the joy luck club

Tara Fickle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article revisits what arguably has remained the most celebrated and vilified Asian American novel to date: Amy Tan'ś The Joy Luck Club́ (1989). Reproducinǵ the formal structure of a game of mahjongǵ and using gaming tropes to dramatize the relationships between four Chinese immigrant mothers and their American-born daughters, the novel immerses its readers in the paradoxical connection between freedom and constraint through assimilation games that transform Chinese immigrant victims into Asian American victors. These games in turn alloẃ Tan to challenge traditional forms of inter- and intragenerational affiliation and notions of kinship found in much canonical Asian American literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-88
Number of pages21
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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